A rematch 17 years in the making has taken over one of the most stacked PPV cards of the year, as Nick Diaz makes his long and anticipated return to the UFC as he takes on former welterweight champ Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 this Saturday.
Striking: While both fighters are known for this skill, it is most definitely a contrast of styles as Nick is known to be a technical boxer that takes his time delivering precision punches that take the stamina and health of his opponents like a video game. As for Robbie, he is one of the most feared strikers in the division as he has the nuclear cheat code that can end the fight in a blink of an eye, Robbie also has used his kicking more in the past and could rely on this when he takes on a heavy lead foot user in Nick. Advantage: Tie
Grappling: Robbie has wrestled most of his life and has been known to use this skill when he most needs it but rarely relies on it. However, Diaz is a Gracie Black Belt that isn’t afraid of being on his back and using his BJJ skills if needed. Advantage: Diaz
Cardio: This is an extremely difficult category to give an edge to as both fighters have relentless gas tanks. Robbie showed in fights that he lost that he was dominated through skill and not because he got tired. But I have to give the win here for Nick as he has consistently shown through his career that his preparation of nutrition and triathlons has made him the ultimate cardio king. Advantage: Diaz
Nick has been sidelined for 6 years now after an unjust suspension from the NSAC. There have been multiple rumours surrounding his fate of when we could see his return to MMA, he has been linked to multiple fights vs the Paul brothers and other high profile names, many thought that the Stockton native would have hung up his gloves for sure since as he has not fought since a controversial no-contest vs Anderson Silva in 2015.
As for Robbie, he is coming off a one-year absence that has unfortunately seen him ride a 4 fight losing streak against some of the best welterweights in the world. Robbie however seems to have found his motivation and love for training again as he claims Nick is the perfect opponent to push him and train like the”Ruthless” of old.